Perhaps the best way to recap the marathon is with photos -- and SJV provided plenty of gorgeous ones for your review. Bless him for being so patient the entire day -- it was a hot one for runners and for spectators alike, but he and Connie (my amazing buddy) were there around every corner.
And a HUGE thank you to Reed and Vickie -- my amazing friends who happen to be my next-door-neighbors (boy did I ever luck out!). Vik ran about a mile with me, and Reed ran about 15. His company was so wonderful -- particularly since he had to slow wayyyyy wayyyyy down to hang with the likes of an Injured Belly. Still, I was glad that we had multiple hours to chill.
I'll begin from the beginning -- the day before at the Expo. SJV and I headed down to the expo to pick up our numbers and such -- even though SJV wasn't planning on running, he still needed to pick up his goodie bag, etc. Great swag -- and the expo was pretty fantastic. We both got to hold a gold medal! See?
Then, we went over to the pacer area to say howdy to some folks we know who were running the pacer groups. I toyed with signing up for a group -- I decided that it would be cool to have one of those nifty temporary tattoos to help you keep on pace. Now, I had said (many, many times) that I wasn't going to "race" this one -- just run and jog and walk, and generally do whatever my left leg would allow. But my ego was beginning to remind the rest of me that we really could go faster if we wanted... and so we compromised and got a temporary tattoo for 5:00 -- a really slow marathon for what I knew I was capable of. So, that decision made, we started to go through the rest of the pacer line. That's when we saw our friend Lora (super-fantastic runner and the 5:45 pacer) who was chillin' with another pacer.
(Adorable photo, guys!) Lora had a great time at the marathon -- sounds like she did incredibly well, and really enjoyed herself. Fantastic!
We left them, mingled around a bit, and got our stuff.
Then we went home, and I started to set up. I put medical tape on my favorite running shirt, and started to write "Belly" across my chest. (Note the Stick in the photo -- I have not been far from that little piece of equipment for some time, now...)
A note: the tape worked well, but next time I'm going to secure it with some safety pins. It kept rolling up, (at the end, people were yelling for "Kelly" because they couldn't see the top of the "B" anymore) so that I finally had to just rip it off. End note.
It was a pretty, pretty morning - although it warm, the sky was beautiful, and the sunrise! Well, it was a really gorgeous sight.
And off I was. There are a lot of folks in this marathon. Exhibit A:
Holy frijoles! Lots of peeps. So, I started off toward them, thinking that I'd go to the 5:00 hour folks and see what that did for me. I was shocked when I had enough time to do that (I was still anxious from thinking I was going to be "late"), and then we just sortof started shuffling forward, really slowly. It was then that, lo and behold! SJV found me! If that's not a testament to us being eerily aware of the other, I don't know what is. I was super happy to see him:
I had given him a very quick kiss goodbye, and missed him immediately after walking away. Now I figured I had a second chance, so I took it! We walked together for a while:
And stood by each other (and by some folks that looked like they had just woken up...)
We got into River North, and I was running with the BatMan crew -- group of about six folks dressed like Batman, Robin, the Joker -- you get the picture. I took their camera and took a photo of them running together -- very cute photo, and i wish I had a copy! Leg still hurting (that's pretty much a constant through this marathon, unfortunately).
Frankly, I think these are both from 14, but they may be from 16 -- like I said, I got the miles all jumbled in my head...
(That photo of me on the train is Exhibit A on why I won't allow photos to be taken of me in mylar.)
And that, my friends, is it. A marathon race report that gives you a taste, and a view, of what it was like for me. ;) My time is unimportant, but it was something like 5:33. I finished, and that's what matters.